Clayton(PJLD)

Lacklustre Lions are going nowhere slowly


Written by Clayton Saville (Clayton(PJLD))

Posted in :In the news, Lions, Super 14 on 16 Mar 2009 at 12:58

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen for iol.co.za

There are a multitude of words that can be used to describe the diabolical performance by the Lions at Newlands on Saturday. Saying it wasn’t a disgrace would be a lie.

When Eugene Eloff succeeded Frans Ludeke at the helm, he promised that three years later – which is now – the Lions would be a force in the Super 14 competition. He said there was a plan and that in time the team would be as competitive as any other local side. The problem with the current Lions team is that even if Eloff had five or 10 years to build a team, they would still be the average side we have seen in the last three years.

There are simply no signs of progress or improvement. Week after week it’s a struggle just to be competitive.

The dilemma facing the union – and Eloff – is that they have invested in certain players who will always only be good Currie Cup players, but will never take the next step of being good enough to play rugby at an international level.

And the Super 14 competition is international rugby.

If one looks at the Crusaders, Brumbies and Blues – the three Super rugby teams who have achieved the most success since the inception of the competition – they have all had stars in their teams… players who feature regularly for the national Test team. Closer to home, the Bulls, Sharks and Stormers have enjoyed a lot of success because they have those players who are good enough to play on the international stage.

It is no surprise the Bulls and Sharks are currently South Africa’s form teams. They have an abundance of men with flair, discipline and skill and that so-called game-breaking ability.

Too many Lions players think they’re good enough to play in the Super 14, but they’re not. Many of them should be playing Vodacom Cup rugby, while other so-called stars in the team are well past their expiry date. Only a handful, led by Jaque Fourie, are the complete package which is needed to succeed at this level of the game.

But the players should not be blamed for the Lions’ woes in recent years. The Golden Lions Rugby Union, together with the coaching staff, are to blame.

At the beginning of 2009 when a group of former stars at the Lions and at other franchises came knocking at the union’s door wanting to play top-flight rugby again, the media was informed that it was because they “could see things are happening at the union”. What nonsense. Those players teamed up with the Lions because they knew they would not get a look-in at any other franchise in the country.

If things continue as they are, perhaps it is time to give the eastern Cape franchise an opportunity. Some will argue the Lions would be a far stronger team had the likes of Brian Mujati, Schalk Brits, Wikus van Heerden, Jean Deysel, Rory Kockott, Ricky Januarie, Gcobani Bobo, Jaco Pretorius, Bryan Habana, Conrad Jantjes, etc not left the union in the last number of years. But one should rather ask, why did these players – all Lions at one stage – opt to go elsewhere? Perhaps they knew the Lions were going nowhere slowly.
www.iol.co.za



9 Comments

  • Some will argue the Lions would be a far stronger team had the likes of Brian Mujati, Schalk Brits, Wikus van Heerden, Jean Deysel, Rory Kockott, Ricky Januarie, Gcobani Bobo, Jaco Pretorius, Bryan Habana, Conrad Jantjes, etc not left the union in the last number of years. But one should rather ask, why did these players – all Lions at one stage – opt to go elsewhere?

    Well actually, the question you should be asking is why is the author such a dumb-ass not to realise almost all of those mentioned are not Gautengers anyway.

    Lions have always struggled to grow their own.

  • Comment 1, posted at 16.03.09 16:34:02 by VinChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • Sheesh, slow day today… would’ve at least expected PB, PJLD, Wes, PA etc to be around to rub it in a wee bit…

  • Comment 2, posted at 16.03.09 16:39:26 by VinChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • Good day Mr Saw

    You called?

  • Comment 3, posted at 16.03.09 16:42:05 by Claytie Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 1) : hello winneee….

  • Comment 4, posted at 16.03.09 17:04:16 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
    robdylanHead Coach
     
  • (Comment 1)Vin, I don’t think that is relative, in the professional era, what is relative is if those players had stayed, the Lions would have been a much better side. I agree with the author, if the lions coaching staff and management had a bit of foresight and Loffie implemented his 3 year plan correctly, they would at least be competitive, however at the Lions, mediocrity is acceptable because everybody in JHB support either the sharks or the stormers and nobody actually gives a sh#t if the lions come first or last. So there is no accountability, if the franchise was run like a company, I can assure you there would not be any of the current management still employed. I often wish the Lions could be floated as a public company on the stock exchange and people could buy shares and at least have a say in how the franchise is run, or in the lions case, not run, I have supported the lions through thick and thin but it really is demoralising for any lions supporter to have to watch this crap year in and year out, hence me posting on the sharks website, which is by far the most professionally run union in the country.

  • Comment 5, posted at 17.03.09 06:48:03 by Whindy Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner
    WhindyCurrie Cup player
     
  • The guys on my forum disagrees with the article, they say we are going nowhere FAST!

  • Comment 6, posted at 17.03.09 07:18:12 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 6) :

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

  • Comment 7, posted at 17.03.09 07:43:16 by wpw Reply
    Administrator
    wpwAssistant coach
     
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 6) :

    Must be some learned fellas over ther on your blog…

  • Comment 8, posted at 17.03.09 12:54:01 by VinChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • @walter van transvaal.co.za (Comment 6) : :mrgreen: :lol:

  • Comment 9, posted at 17.03.09 13:00:41 by Claytie Reply
    Administrator
    Clayton(PJLD)Team captain
     

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